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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (CBSMiami/AP) — Catcher J.T. Realmuto homered and drove in two runs, Adam Conley pitched six strong innings and the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 5-2 on Sunday night in a game played on a U.S. Army post.
Christian Yelich also finished with two RBIs. He and Realmuto had run-scoring singles during a two-run fifth.
Martin Prado added an RBI single in the seventh to help the wild card-contending Marlins earn a split of the four-game series and win the first regular-season game — in any sport — held at an active military installation.
This game was played at a ballpark built from scratch in less than four months at the sprawling Army post that’s home to 55,000 service members, including the famed paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division.
— Fort Bragg (@FtBraggNC) July 4, 2016
Conley (5-5) allowed four hits in the Marlins’ best outing by a starter in a week. In Miami’s previous five games, each starter allowed at least four earned runs and none finished the sixth.
Matt Wisler (3-8) had six strikeouts for the Braves, giving him 15 in his last two starts, but he allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings.
Realmuto led off the ninth with a towering homer to center field off reliever Tyrell Jenkins to put the Marlins up 5-0.
They pulled within 1½ games of the NL’s second wild card and improved to 4-8 against the last-place Braves — a mark that’s still their worst against an NL East opponent. Two of those wins belong to Conley, who threw eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over Atlanta on June 22 in Miami.
The Braves scored two runs in the ninth off A.J. Ramos on Erick Aybar’s RBI double and A.J. Pierzynski’s sacrifice fly before Ramos struck out Jace Peterson to end it.
In a joint effort from Major League Baseball and the players’ association, an overgrown golf course was cleared out and transformed into a major league-caliber field surrounded by temporary stands that were packed by 12,582 service members — most of whom cheered and chopped for the local favorite Braves.
Looking rather comfortable in such a setting, Wisler breezed through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
Adeiny Hechavarria led off with a triple off the fence in center, then scored two batters later on Realmuto’s single to right that fell in front of a diving Nick Markakis. Prado then singled to center and Yelich followed with his RBI single to right that scored Realmuto.
Prado made it 3-0 with his RBI single in the seventh and Yelich added a run-scoring sacrifice fly off Jenkins an inning later.
Marlins: 1B Justin Bour was out of the lineup a day after injuring his right ankle on a play at first base.
Braves: IF Gordon Beckham went 2 for 2 with a double in a rehab start late Saturday night with Single-A Carolina, which plays 80 miles northeast of Fort Bragg in Zebulon. Beckham has been out since June 2 with a strained left hamstring.
Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (6-7. 4.45 ERA) faces the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game series. He’s lost two straight starts and has given up at least four earned runs in each.
Braves: RHP Joel De La Cruz (0-1, 4.50 ERA) makes his second career start in the first game of a three-game series at Philadelphia. He gave up three runs in seven innings of a 3-0 loss to Cleveland on June 29.
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